The 1993 Major League Baseball All-Star Game wasn’t much of a game. The American League won 9-3, with the most memorable moment coming when a not-yet-in-his-prime Randy Johnson sailed a heater a few feet over John Kruk’s head. But it was a helluva weekend (or, week, really), to be certain. The festivities took place at Camden Yards, the new ballpark in Baltimore that would become the blueprint for modern stadium design (note: sitting 3,000 miles away and having to look at this thing all the time made 9-year-old me quite jealous — the Mariners might suck for eternity, but without Camden, there’s no Safeco Field, so there’s that).
Today marks the 20th anniversary of the 1993 Home Run Derby, which featured a who’s who of 1990s sluggers — Juan Gonzalez, Barry Bonds, Albert Belle, Cecil Fielder, Ken Griffey, Jr. Similar to the actual game, the American League crushed the Senior Circuit 21-12 (the contest was a one-round team competition back then, with the top hitters moving on to individual glory), after which Gonzalez and Griffey went shot-for-shot in the Finals, forcing a playoff.
Gonzalez ultimately won, but Griffey stole the show with the derby equivalent of Vince Carter’s elbow dunk in the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest. The 465-foot bomb to right field cleared Camden Yards, crossed tiny Eutaw Street, and nailed the B&O Warehouse — a feat that has gone unmatched to this day — while a stunned audience stared in shock. The then-23-year-old Griffey was already a star at that point, but the blast helped vault him past superstar and into the rarefied air of super-duper star athlete.
Added bonus: James Earl Jones reciting the “Star Spangled Banner”…and screwing it up.